“The Man I Killed”
Guilt takes over ones mind and conquers the body because someone thinks constantly about a memory that previously occured. In Tim O’Brien’s, “The Man I Killed”, he starts with a list of physical features of the man he killed with a grenade in My Khe. He was imagining what the man’s life must have been like. O’Brien thinks of stories and personalities about the man he murdered in the war. He describes his feelings and says, “Nothing nobody could do… stop staring” (O’Brien 1). Also, he feels guilty as a soldier, just from killing one person as he just stands there and stares at the deceased body. Tim O’Brien employs the elements of imagery, symbolism, and use of language to demonstrate his own guilt in “The Man I Killed”. The imagery that O’Brien uses to describe the man he murdered with a grenade is how he introduces the beginning of the story. He commences the story with the description of the man he killed. The young man’s “jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, [and] his other eye was a star-shaped hole” (O’ Brien 1). The narrator describes the dead male right after a grenade blew him up. O’Brien explains how he was feeling after the attack to show imagery of how he was just staring at the body. Another example of when the narrator shows imagery is when he assembles a story of the dead soldier’s life. He portrays the dead soldiers life to characterize social potential that war destroys everything. O’Brien envisions that the dead Vietnamese soldier wanted to "be a teacher in mathematics" (1). Also, he made an entire life story of the solider as he stared at him while he was on the ground. His death showed that war prevented him to move on with his life. Finally, O’ Brien uses a description of the soldiers eyes. The right eye socket was a “star-shaped hole [that] was red and yellow” (1). He expresses the appearance of life with the eye socket with the continuous killings. Tim O’ Brien’s is expressing...
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